Nothing in this category is new to many of us who have worked in the natural health field for decades. I've written about these compounds frequently on this blog as well.
These compounds are clearly anti-carcinogenic. Foods like cabbage also offer many other benefits. The only warning flag is that raw cabbage is a food that may suppress the function of the thyroid gland. Otherwise enjoy!
When It Comes To Red Cabbage, More Is Better
Anthocyanins are a group of healthful compounds that fall within the flavonoid class of plant nutrients. ARS scientists have identified 36 anthocyanins in red cabbage, including eight that had never before been detected in the cabbage. (Credit: iStockphoto/Christine Balderas)ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2008) — Plant pigments called anthocyanins provide fruits and vegetables with beneficial blue, purple and red coloring. Now Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are learning more about these compounds and their absorption into the human blood stream.
Anthocyanins are a group of healthful compounds that fall within the flavonoid class of plant nutrients. ARS scientists have identified 36 anthocyanins in red cabbage, including eight that had never before been detected in the cabbage.
The study was conducted at the ARS Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC) in Beltsville, Md., where scientists have pioneered methods for identifying and measuring various phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables. Physiologist Janet Novotny, nutritionist Beverly Clevidence, plant physiologist Steven Britz and research associate Craig Charron, all with the BHNRC's Food Components and Health Laboratory, published the findings in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Emerging evidence suggests that anthocyanins may provide cancer protection, improve brain function and promote heart health. An earlier ARS study showed that some anthocyanins yield twice the antioxidant power of the same amount of vitamin C in test tubes, though the amount absorbed by the human body was not explored.
Twelve volunteers consumed three different amounts of cooked red cabbage along with a full diet of carefully controlled foods. Each volunteer completed three two-day meal regimens, which included 2/3 cup, 1-1/3 cups, or 2 cups of red cabbage. The volunteers were capable of absorbing the most anthocyanins when given the largest serving of cooked cabbage.
Interestingly, the anthocyanins that the researchers identified were not equally absorbed, as measured by the portion of the ingested compound that reached the blood stream. Nearly 80 percent of cabbage anthocyanins tested were "acylated," meaning attached to acyl groups, which made them more stable and less absorbable. The non-acylated anthocyanins present were at least four times more bioavailable, or absorbed, than the acylated anthocyanins.
The findings could aid plant breeders in developing varieties with key anthocyanin structures and amounts.
Adapted from materials provided by US Department of Agriculture.
US Department of Agriculture (2008, March 11). When It Comes To Red Cabbage, More Is Better. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 13, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2008/03/080307081409.htm
Try these recipes -
Red Cabbage Slaw: Shred one small head of organic red cabbage into a bowl. Add one bunch of chopped green onions and one shredded red pepper.
Dressing: Lemon and Lime juice, Honey, Sesame oil, red chili pepper, salt, minced garlic and ginger.
1 large head of red cabbage, washed and coarsely sliced
2 medium onions coarsely chopped
6 tart apples, cored and quartered
2 tsp salt
2 cups hot water
3 Tbs sugar
2/3 cup cider vinegar
6 Tbs butter, olive oil, or bacon grease
Place all ingredients in the crock pot in order listed. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours (High: 3 hours). Stir well before serving.